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Francis Davidson, CEO of Sonder. Photo: Bloomberg
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Travel Startups Real Estate

VC-Backed Sonder Cuts One-Third of Staff as Travel Plummets

Photo: Francis Davidson, CEO of Sonder. Photo: Bloomberg

Sonder, a venture capital-backed operator of apartment-based lodgings for tourists and business travelers, laid off or furloughed more than 400 people, about one-third of its staff, in a bid to offset a declining number of bookings as the travel market collapses.

The San Francisco-based company is the largest of a raft of startups that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from venture capitalists and real estate firms that work by subleasing stylish apartments for short stays. Those firms are now fighting to survive, with many facing significant lease payments to apartment landlords that could be difficult to cover. 

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